The Real Problem with Trump’s Wall

I’ve heard lots of commentary about the shut-down and the wall, and it seems many people are saying things like, “Well, is the wall really that bad? Why not just build it?”

Here is why we shouldn’t build the wall and why we need to stridently oppose it: Trump is a liar and a charlatan. The wall is essentially a faith-healing gimmick.

Here is an analogy that should set this all straight:

Let’s say you have a serious but treatable disease, something like ulcerative colitis. You see someone on a street corner selling “healing crystals”. You talk to him and tell him that you have ulcerative colitis. He tells you that his crystals can heal you, and he has one just for ulcerative colitis, but it will cost you $10,000.

Is spending $10,000 on a faith healing crystal “harmless”? No, it isn’t, because you need that $10,000 to spend it on real treatment.

We can’t allow Trump to get away with hocking his faith-healing gimmick for two reasons: #1 because it diverts needed resources away from where they can actually do good, and #2 because it would then give credence to his lies and methods. Giving in would be like allowing a charlatan to rip you off and sell you a useless junk crystal just to get him to stop bothering you. It just encourages the behavior and guarantees that he’ll keep at it. His lies require a rebuke, just as faith healers require being confronted and exposed so that they don’t take advantage of and harm more people.

Do we have real problems with illegal immigration and border security in America? Sure, yes we do. Are they on the magnitude that Trump claims? No. Will they be solved by building a wall? No. Is letting Trump get his way by spending billions of dollars on a wall harmless? No, it isn’t, any more than giving a faith healer thousands of dollars for a useless scam is harmless. Even if the crystal doesn’t directly case harm to you, by diverting resources away from real treatment the scam causes harm, just as Trump’s wall and other immigration proposals would do. And that’s a best case scenario. Some of Trump’s other immigration proposals actually do cause direct real harm to immigrants and their families.

Real solutions require changes to the immigration process and just as importantly, addressing the root causes of mass immigration. Many of the causes of mass immigration from Latin America are rooted in misguided American interference in those countries, American illegal drug trade, and American arms exports.

Addressing these problems requires controls on the production and export of firearms, reform and decriminalization of recreational drugs to create a legitimate domestic market, and real policies that actually seek to help improve the lives of workers and the poor in foreign countries as opposed to policies that favor exploitation by American and international corporations. That’s how we address immigration, not by wasting money on a fake solution like a wall.

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